Sunday, February 10, 2002

Surviving Projects. I've been skimming through some of my favorite books lately and got drawn into Steve McConnell's now classic Software Project Survival Guide. Linda reviewed this book on 6 July 2001 on Amazon; I've had a copy since 1997. The value of the book is enhanced by the companion web site, which is rich in content and artifacts that keep this 5-year old book up-to-date. Among the more valuable of these are:In addition to the materials that directly support the book, Mr. McConnell also provides a free tool called Construx Estimate that will add structure to your estimation process. Another free tool that is available from this site is CxOne Basic, which is a tailorable, modular, and scalable software engineering framework. The basic version is a subset of the enterprise version, which is a commercial product. The artifacts included with the framework are linked to industry best practices.

CxOne Basic is also tied to the Software Project Survival Guide with a cross-reference between the book and the product. There is also a comparison between CxOne and eXtreme Programming with comparisons between the CXOne framework and the Rational Unified Process and the CMM slated to be provided in the future.

More on Architecture. Architects (and technically-oriented project managers) should be familiar with the Reference Model for Open Distributed Processing (RM-ODP). An excellent starting point is the Distributed Systems Technology Centre (DSTC) RM-ODP page. They also sponsor other projects that you may find interesting, including:

Ending Notes. If you haven't been to Software Dioxide, you're missing one of the best multi-discipline resources on the web. This site, which requires free registration for full access to an incredible array of resources, is divided into eight domains:
  1. Project Management.
  2. Product Engineering.
  3. Knowledge Management.
  4. Software Reuse.
  5. Quality Assurance & Models.
  6. Measurement.
  7. People & Management.
  8. Contracting & Acquisition.
This is one of the first places to which I look when I'm researching a topic, and I have it bookmarked on my Netscape personal favorites toolbar.

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